Alex de Minaur through at Wimbledon after rival's 'classy' act amid ugly Andy Murray fallout

An unexpected move from Emma Raducanu officially ended Andy Murray's Wimbledon career.

Alex de Minaur has praised a "classy" act from rival Lucas Pouille after the Frenchman's injury withdrawal gifted the Aussie tennis star passage through to the second week at Wimbledon. It came on another day of drama at the All England Club, where fan favourite Andy Murray's Wimbledon career was officially ended after Emma Raducanu pulled out of their planned appearance in the mixed doubles.

While that represented further heartbreak for Murray, who'd been given a rousing farewell by fans last week, de Minaur admitted that Pouille's injury withdrawal was a massive relief. The 'Demon' had never previously benefited from a walkover in his 74-match grand-slam singles career but says it came at an opportune time with the weather forecast in London promising a long day of delays for most players.

On the right is Alex De Minaur and Andy Murray on left.
Alex De Minaur is through to the fourth round in singles while Andy Murray's Wimbledon career has ended after his mixed doubles opponent Emma Raducanu pulled out. Pic: Getty

However, the Aussie says Pouille informed him that he was going to be pulling out almost two hours before they were set to head out onto court. Pouille picked up the abdominal injury in his second round match against De Minaur's compatriot Thanasi Kokkinakis, who retired hurt in the fourth set with a knee injury.

The Frenchman's withdrawal meant de Minaur was able to begin his preparations for the second week of the grand slam while his fourth-round opponent Arthur Fils was made to battle past Roman Safiullin in five sets on another frustrating rain-interrupted day. De Minaur said he found out Pouille was withdrawing at about 9.15am when the Frenchman approached the 25-year-old during his pre-match warm-up routine and told him he was not right to play.


"I think it was a class act by him, letting me know early in the day, especially with the weather forecast showing it could be delayed for a long time," said de Minaur. I'm wishing him a quick recovery. And as for me, I'm probably a little bit relieved. Just because everyone knew the type of day that was coming, that it was going to be a long one and I was able to finish quite quickly."

De Minaur has now reached the fourth round in a fourth-straight grand slam tournament and is favourite to make his first quarter-final appearance at Wimbledon. His fourth round opponent Fils had to battle for three-and-a-quarter rain-interrupted hours against Russia's 44th-ranked Safiullin, before the 20-year-old Frenchman won 4-6 6-3 1-6 6-4 6-3.

In sadder news for two-time Wimbledon champion and fan favourite Murray, the Scotsman's career at the All England Club officially ended after Raducanu pulled out of the mixed doubles. Murray had to withdraw from the singles due to injury and was knocked out of the men's doubles with brother Jamie earlier in the week. But fans thought they had one final chance to watch him compete at Wimbledon in the mixed doubles.

However, Raducanu dashed any such hopes after prioritising her singles campaign at the All England Club, having won through to the round of 16 where she'll face Kiwi qualifier Lulu Sun for a place in the quarter-finals. Raducanu said she was looking forward to partnering Murray but made the decision after experiencing "stiffness" in her right wrist.

From left right, Andy Murray and Emma Raducanu at Wimbledon.
Emma Raducanu pulled out of the Wimbledon mixed doubles with Andy Murray after experiencing stiffness in her wrist and with a singles campaign to focus on. Pic: Getty

"I have decided to make the very tough decision to withdraw from the mixed doubles," she said. "I’m disappointed as I was really looking forward to playing with Andy but I've got to take care." Raducanu missed Wimbledon last year after having surgery on both wrists, with Murray said to be "disappointed" to hear the news and unable to name a new partner after the draw has already taken place, as per Wimbledon rules.

Fans have obviously been left devastated that they won't get at least one more chance to see Murray compete at Wimbledon, with Raducanu copping brutal backlash over her decision. Murray's mother Judy only fanned the flames by agreeing with a user's post on social media that Raducanu's withdrawal was "astonishing." However, many people have pointed out that the 21-year-old has every right to manage her own injuries and prioritise her singles campaign.